US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday angrily denounced news reports detailing the secret exfiltration of a CIA mole who had operated at the top levels of the Kremlin, saying such reports could put lives at risk.
The informant reportedly confirmed to US intelligence that President Vladimir Putin directed Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, straining superpower relations and casting a cloud over Donald Trump’s stunning victory.
According to multiple news reports citing sources in American espionage community, the informant was whisked out of Russia two years ago amid fears he was at risk of exposure, depriving Washington of essential insight into Putin’s activities and thinking.
Pompeo, who was CIA director in 2017, questioned the reports without being specific, but did not deny their general thrust.
“I’ve seen that reporting. The reporting is materially inaccurate,” he said, speaking in the White House.
“As the former CIA director, I don’t talk about things like this very often,” he said.
“It is only the occasions when there is something that I think puts people at risk, or the reporting is so egregious as to create enormous risk to the United States of America, that I even comment in the way I just did.”